Get Your Website On Google
Your website won’t do much good if people cannot find it. Most people use Google to find websites, even if they know the name of the website. They will often go to Google, type in the website name, and let Google find it for them. So if your website is not in Google many people will not find your site!
So it’s important that Google (Bing and Yahoo too) knows about your website.
When Google knows about your website it’s called being indexed. Google has an index of all the websites it knows about. Your website may automatically get indexed eventually. But to make sure that it does there are some things you can do. You can let Google know about your website by registering it in Google Webmaster Tools. Another way is to place a link to your website from another website that is well established and popular. Using Google Webmaster Tools is the best way.
Search Engine Basics
Search Engines, or Search Sites as I like to call them, are very important these days. Search sites have made the difference between success and failure for many modern businesses. Yes it’s very important for most businesses to have a website. But having a website that is easily found by people searching is equally important. Thousands, if not millions, of great websites exist and never get visitors. It’s like having a business brochure and never handing it out.
Your website needs to be in the search engine’s index. But that’s just the first step. Your website must also be optimized to make it rank high so that people will find it when searching.
Your website may have many pages. Each of those pages can be indexed in the Search Engines. Many times only the home page gets indexed. It is to your benefit to get all of your pages indexed. You can ensure that all your pages get indexed by creating a sitemap. A sitemap is a file that tells the search engine about the pages on your website. The file is created by you and uploaded to your website directory. You can then indicate the location of the sitemap in Google’s Webmaster Tools. There are free online tools for creating sitemaps that you can use. You can also create a sitemap manually. Click here for more information about sitemaps.
The next step is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
How to get Your Website to Rank Higher
You must add unique and compelling content to your website to make it rank higher in search results. Think about your website visitors. If you were them would you be interested in what your website presents? This is the long term solution to having a website that will do well and attract visitors. You want people to like what’s on your website so much that they will share it with people they know and install links from their websites back to your website. You can build links to your own website yourself too. Do this by posting comments and articles on other websites and insert links back to your website. These things are the building blocks of creating a successful website that will bring visitors, leads, and customers.
It’s beneficial to embed images and videos into your website content. Images and Video are indexed just as website pages are. Often times a video or image will appear mixed in with the regular search results. When this happens that video or image will stand out and may attract more clicks than the top listing that contains only text! Images and videos can be optimized.
Name your image file descriptively and use the “alt” and “title” tags with descriptive text. The image at left has a filename of target-website-seo.jpg. It’s alt and title tags are “website seo”. To optimize a video use a descriptive title and fill the description field with a long, well written description. Here’s more information about using video to promote your business.
Below is a video created by Google’s Matt Cutts discussing links to websites to help your website rank higher.
Search Terms are Keywords
The common term is “Keyword”. Keywords are the words that people type into the search box on a search website. It’s important to know the keywords that your potential customers commonly use to search for your type of business. Those keywords should be used throughout your website. Keyword research can be done using Google’s free keyword tool. Here’s a great article about how keywords work.
Using WordPress and Some Extra Tips
Wordpress is a website building platform. It is a content management system. Don’t get it mixed up with WordPress.com though. WordPress.com is a free blogging platform where anyone can create and publish their own blog articles. WordPress, the website building platform, is software that can be used to create websites. WordPress.org (as opposed to wordpress.com) is it’s home.
Many large web hosting companies such as Godaddy.com and BlueHost.com provide WordPress hosting. The installation process is all built in making it fairly easy to install and set up.
WordPress is probably the most popular content management system used to build websites in the world. It’s also great for building websites that are optimized for search engines. WordPress is open source and free to use. It’s functionality is constantly being upgraded and enhanced by people around the world who create pieces of software called “WordPress Plugins”.
I highly recommend wordpress as a website platform. I also recommend the “All in one SEO Pack” for wordpress to help optimize your website.
Your Website Cannot Stand Alone
Your Internet Presence can be greatly enhanced by doing things outside of it. These things include setting up your business directories, video accounts, and image accounts. You should set up your Google Places directory listing as well as your Bing and Yahoo business directory listings. Youtube is the second largest search site in the world. You should create a youtube account and tie it to your website. You should also tie your business directory listings to your website. Do this by adding your website URL (www.yourcompany.com) to each listing. Image sites such as flickr are great places to set up an account for your images.
The idea is to get your website mentioned on as many places as possible. Back links (links from other websites) are very important. Having a link from your local chamber of commerce is a great back link for your business.
So spend a little time, or hire someone, and get your website on Google. Optimize it and your other web properties and make use of the Internet. You’ll be glad you did!